In a calm residential neighborhood, 15 minutes from the center of Monterrey, Mexico, on the second floor of their house, Sandra Cardona and Vanessa Jimenez created an abortion sanctuary.
They call it La Aborteria, or the abortion house: a repurposed room with a kitchen and bathroom, decorated with signs in Spanish that read, “Having an abortion is also an act of love,” and “Being able to chose makes us free.” There, women are provided with a safe space to undergo a medical abortion.
Cardona and Jimenez are part of a network called Necesito Abortar Mexico, established six years ago to help Mexican women through the process of medically induced abortions. But these days, they often find themselves providing sanctuary to women from the US, many from Texas, where a law banning abortions around the sixth week of pregnancy went into effect in September. Before the legislation, the network might have heard from one or two Texans a year, now Jimenez says she helps about five women a week get medical abortions.